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Proceedings Paper

Advancements in design of an autonomous satellite docking system
Author(s): Anthony B. Hays; Peter Tchoryk Jr.; Jane C. Pavlich; Greg A. Ritter; Gregory J. Wassick
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Paper Abstract

The past five years has witnessed a significant increase in the attention given to on-orbit satellite docking and servicing. Recent world events have proven how we have come to rely on our space assets, especially during times of crisis. It has become abundantly clear that the ability to autonomously rendezvous, dock, inspect and service both military and civilian assets is no longer a nicety, but a necessity. Reconnaissance and communications satellites, even the space shuttle and International Space Station, could benefit from this capability. Michigan Aerospace Corporation, with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), has been refining a compact, light, compliant soft-docking system. Earlier prototypes have been tested on the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) flat-floor as well as on the Johnson Space Flight Center (JSC) KC-135 micro-gravity aircraft. Over the past year, refinements have been made to the mechanism based on the lessons learned from these tests. This paper discusses the optimal design that has resulted.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 August 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5419, Spacecraft Platforms and Infrastructure, (30 August 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.537767
Show Author Affiliations
Anthony B. Hays, Michigan Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Peter Tchoryk Jr., Michigan Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Jane C. Pavlich, Michigan Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Greg A. Ritter, Michigan Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Gregory J. Wassick, Michigan Aerospace Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5419:
Spacecraft Platforms and Infrastructure
Peter Tchoryk Jr.; Melissa Wright, Editor(s)

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